Prairie Vigilance 16: Anytime, Anywhere

Three B-52H Stratofortresses taxi down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

Three B-52H Stratofortresses taxi down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

Two B-52H Stratofortresses soar through the air during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with the rapid fly- off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

Two B-52H Stratofortresses soar through the air during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with the rapid fly- off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A silhouetted B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with the rapid fly-off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A silhouetted B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with the rapid fly-off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

Two B-52H Stratofortresses taxi down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., participated in Prairie Vigilance Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

Two B-52H Stratofortresses taxi down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., participated in Prairie Vigilance Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A B-52H Stratofortress soars through the air during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with the rapid fly-off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A B-52H Stratofortress soars through the air during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with the rapid fly-off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

Two B-52H Stratofortresses taxi down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., participated in Prairie Vigilance Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

Two B-52H Stratofortresses taxi down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., participated in Prairie Vigilance Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the runway during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

A B-52H Stratofortress takes off during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise was part of Prairie Vigilance, which was designed to test the 5th Bomb Wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman)

A B-52H Stratofortress takes off during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise was part of Prairie Vigilance, which was designed to test the 5th Bomb Wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman)

Two B-52H Stratofortresses fly during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman)
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Two B-52H Stratofortresses fly during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman)

Members of a B-52H Stratofortress air crew drive towards their B-52 during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with a rapid fly off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman)
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Members of a B-52H Stratofortress air crew drive towards their B-52 during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with a rapid fly off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman)

A B-52H Stratofortress flies during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. Approximately 3,500 Airmen from across the 5th Bomb Wing demonstrated safe, secure, reliable nuclear-capable weapons standards and procedures during the weapons generations and fly off. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman)
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A B-52H Stratofortress flies during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. Approximately 3,500 Airmen from across the 5th Bomb Wing demonstrated safe, secure, reliable nuclear-capable weapons standards and procedures during the weapons generations and fly off. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman)

A B-52H Stratofortress takes off during a rapid launch for Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with the rapid fly-off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)
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A B-52H Stratofortress takes off during a rapid launch for Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The exercise concluded with the rapid fly-off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)

A B-52H Stratofortress takes off in succession of another during a rapid launch for Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)
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A B-52H Stratofortress takes off in succession of another during a rapid launch for Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)

B-52H Stratofortresses start their engines in preparation of a rapid launch during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The 5th Bomb Wing participated in Prairie Vigilance 16-1 Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)
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B-52H Stratofortresses start their engines in preparation of a rapid launch during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The 5th Bomb Wing participated in Prairie Vigilance 16-1 Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)

A B-52H Stratofortress takes off during a rapid launch for exercise Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. Approximately 3,500 Airmen from across the 5th Bomb Wing demonstrated safe, secure, reliable nuclear-capable weapons standards and procedures during the weapons generations and fly-off. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)
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A B-52H Stratofortress takes off during a rapid launch for exercise Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. Approximately 3,500 Airmen from across the 5th Bomb Wing demonstrated safe, secure, reliable nuclear-capable weapons standards and procedures during the weapons generations and fly-off. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)

A B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the flightline during a rapid launch for Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The 5th Bomb Wing participated in Prairie Vigilance 16-1 Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)
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A B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the flightline during a rapid launch for Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. The 5th Bomb Wing participated in Prairie Vigilance 16-1 Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)

A B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the flightline during a rapid launch for Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)
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A B-52H Stratofortress taxis down the flightline during a rapid launch for Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot, play an integral role in nation's strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Sullivan)

An alert vehicle races to awaiting B-52s during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. Approximately 3,500 Airmen from across the 5th Bomb Wing demonstrated safe, secure, reliable nuclear-capable weapons standards and procedures during the weapons generations and fly off. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)
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An alert vehicle races to awaiting B-52s during Prairie Vigilance 16-1 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 16, 2016. Approximately 3,500 Airmen from across the 5th Bomb Wing demonstrated safe, secure, reliable nuclear-capable weapons standards and procedures during the weapons generations and fly off. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, participated in Prairie Vigilance 16-1 Sept. 11-16, an annual exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct conventional and nuclear-capable bomber operations.

“Prairie Vigilance 16-1 is an operational readiness exercise that validates the 5th Bomb Wing's capability to execute our assigned missions,” Col. Matthew Brooks, 5th BW commander, said. “The exercise ensures our Airmen and B-52s maintain the highest state of combat readiness and demonstrates that the wing can respond to emerging strategic threats anytime and anywhere in the world.”

Approximately 3,500 Airmen from across the wing demonstrated safe, secure, reliable nuclear-capable weapons standards and procedures during the weapons generations and fly off.

“Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing were tasked to demonstrate our nuclear [capable] tasking without prior notification or coordination,” Col. Douglas Warnock, 5th Operations Group commander, said. “The exercise was originally scheduled for next week, but by starting a week early, it gave our Airmen the opportunity to clearly exhibit their abilities and nuclear prowess.”

According to Warnock, exercises like Prairie Vigilance provide the opportunity for bomber Airmen to train like they would fight, learning from mistakes and adding to their expertise and skillset. Team Minot is entrusted with the substantial day-to-day responsibility of keeping a well maintained and secure nuclear-capable bomber force, so when called upon, the mission is executed flawlessly.

“As long as nuclear [capable] weapons exist, there is no mission more important than maintaining the nation's nuclear capability and ensuring strategic deterrence and assurance,” Warnock said. “That deterrence is strengthened by the men and women of Minot AFB demonstrating their capability to execute their nuclear [capable] tasking at a moment's notice when we are called upon by the President and combatant commanders.”

As one leg of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear triad, Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52s at Minot play integral role in the nation's strategic deterrence.

“Our nation relies on a highly-credible and capable strategic bomber force,” Brooks said. “Prairie Vigilance demonstrates that the 5th Bomb Wing maintains that capability and credibility, ensuring the American public that we stand ready to execute our assigned missions.”

The exercise concluded with a rapid fly-off, successfully launching a sequence of 12 B-52s to showcase their active capability to execute the mission.

“I'm extremely proud of the Warbird's performance this week, and I have no doubt in their commitment to Minot's nuclear mission and our abilities to execute,” Warnock said.
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